Homeschooling



Shortly after Sarah was born, Kathleen attended a baby care class. A group of the mothers in this class became friends. They decided to continue their relationships by having weekly park days where they could get together, talk about issues relating to parenting and provide friends for their kids. As the kids grew older, their thoughts naturally turned to school. Through a process of communication, investigation and mutual support, a few of these mothers decided that homeschooling was a very attractive alternative. When the children were four years old, most of them attended full time pre-school. The ones interested in homeschoolling joined like-minded parents to form the Santa Clara Valley Homeschoolers. Today, ten years later, this group still meets in a different Santa Clara County park each Thursday. The make up of the group has changed over time with some people leaving and others joining. Newcomers are always welcome.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What about the kids social life?

Sarah has many opportunities to be with other kids, and she has many friends. Almost every day she spends time with one or more of her friends. The park group is the primary source. She has known a few of the kids in this group since they were five months old. In addition to the park group, Sarah meets other kids in various classes she attends, Girl Scouts and on other adventures such as the Ropes Course.

Do they have to take tests?

In California, no. There are two legal methods of homeschooling in California: participating in a school districts home study program and declaring a private school. Many school districts is the State of California have Home Study programs. The nature and requirements of the various home study programs depend upon the individual school district. Some do require testing, Most do not. If you are interested in this method, contact your local school district. If your district program is not attractive to you, check other nearby districts. Their programs may be more attractive and you may be able to transfer your child to that district. If you can not find anything that suits you and your child, you can always declare a private school.
To declare a private school, all that is required is fill out and file a R4F form once a year. You are not required to have certified teachers, any particular curriculum or subject your child to any tests. You are free to educate your child in the manner you believe best.

What about going to College?

Generally, homeschooled kids have no problems getting in college. To the contrary, many colleges are actively seeking homeschooled kids. These colleges - Harvard, Yale, the Air Force Academy, and Stanford to name a few - find homeschooled kids to be very creative people who provide a refreshing change from the public school educational factories.

What about the kids, do they like it?

Most kids, including Sarah, love it. Some, upon reaching high school age, decide that they want to go to a organized school. Homeschool families generally recognize that it is best to accommodate these young adults' desires and work at finding them a good school.

To find out more about the world of homeschooling, see http://www.cais.com/aevans/homestead/homesch.html .
To find out more about the Santa Clara Valley Homeschoolers, you may Email Kathleen, Sarah's mother.